Carya ovata


Common Names: Shagbark hickory
Category: Trees
Sub-category: Hickory


A common hickory in the eastern United States and southeast Canada. It is a large deciduous tree, growing up to 27 m tall. Mature shagbarks are easy to recognize because, as their name implies, they have shaggy bark. This characteristic is however only found on mature trees; young specimens have smooth bark. The leaves are 30 to 60 cm long, pinnate, with five (rarely three or seven) leaflets, the terminal three leaflets much larger than the basal pair. The shagbark hickory is monoecious. Staminate flowers are borne on long-stalked catkins at the tip of old wood or in the axils of the previous season's leaves. Pistillate flowers occur in short terminal spikes. The fruit is a 2.5 to 4 cm long drupe, an edible nut with a hard, bony shell, contained in a thick, green four-sectioned husk which turns dark and splits off at maturity in the fall. The terminal buds on the shagbark Hickory are large and covered with loose scales.

Edible Notes: The Shagbark Hickory's nut is edible and has a very sweet taste. The wood is used to smoke meats. The bark of the shagbark hickory is also used to flavor a maple-style syrup.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.
Sightings